Johannesburg – Mozambique security forces have been torturing detained suspected militants in the country’s volatile north, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
Footage obtained by the rights group shows “the attempted beheading, torture and other ill treatment of prisoners; the dismemberment of alleged opposition fighters; possible extrajudicial executions; and the transport and discarding of a large number of corpses into apparent mass graves.”
The army in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province has been fighting Islamist militants since 2017. Since then, the insurgents have attacked villages and killed dozens of people, as well displaced thousands.
The local group pledged allegiance to Islamic State last year.
“The abuses attributed to the group … can never justify further violations by the security forces of Mozambique,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s regional director for East and Southern Africa.
Cabo Delgado is home to a multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas project by French multinational Total.
Analysts have questioned how serious the Islamic State-link is, saying that the roots of the unrest may owe more to poverty and inequality than religion.